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Publication numberUS8222872 B1
Publication typeGrant
Application numberUS 12/493,045
Publication dateJul 17, 2012
Filing dateJun 26, 2009
Priority dateSep 30, 2008
Fee statusPaid
Publication number12493045, 493045, US 8222872 B1, US 8222872B1, US-B1-8222872, US8222872 B1, US8222872B1
InventorsJohn L. Melanson, Mauro L. Gaetano, Larry L. Harris
Original AssigneeCirrus Logic, Inc.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Switching power converter with selectable mode auxiliary power supply
US 8222872 B1
Abstract
A auxiliary power supply having a selectable operating mode raises efficiency of a switched-power converter. By selectably controlling the input/output behavior of the auxiliary power supply receiving a voltage from an auxiliary winding of one of the power converter magnetic elements, more efficient operation of the auxiliary power supply over the full variation range of the input line voltage is achieved. By selecting the operating mode according to the relationship between the required auxiliary power supply output and the voltage available across the auxiliary winding under current operating conditions, the turns ratio of the auxiliary winding and other circuit parameters can be optimized for efficiency. Selection of the operating mode may be made by detecting the output or input voltage of the multiplier, and the selection may be performed under hysteretic control so that the variation in auxiliary power supply output voltage is reduced dynamically.
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Claims(22)
1. A switched-power circuit, comprising:
a magnetic coupling element for coupling an input of the switched-power circuit to an output of the switched-power circuit and having a primary winding and at least one auxiliary winding;
a switching circuit for controlling charging of the magnetic coupling element from an input voltage source connected to the input of the switched-power circuit to the primary winding of the magnetic coupling element;
a control circuit coupled to the switching circuit for generating control signals for operating the switching circuit in response to a feedback signal provided from the output of the switched-power circuit; and
an auxiliary power supply having a selectable operating mode that is selected responsive to at least one control signal having at least two discrete states for selecting between at least two corresponding operating modes, wherein the auxiliary power supply has an auxiliary power supply input coupled to the auxiliary winding of the magnetic coupling element, wherein the auxiliary power supply generates an output voltage from the auxiliary winding in the at least two corresponding output modes such that a first non-zero ratio of the output voltage generated in a first one of the operating modes from the auxiliary winding to a voltage available from the auxiliary winding is greater than a second non-zero ratio of the output voltage generated in a second one of the operating modes from the auxiliary winding to the voltage available from the auxiliary winding.
2. The switched-power circuit of claim 1, wherein a state of the at least one control signal is selected in conformity with a magnitude of the output voltage, whereby the auxiliary power supply acts as a hysteretic voltage regulator.
3. The switched-power circuit of claim 1, wherein in the first operating mode, the output voltage is substantially equal to the sum of a magnitude of a negative peak voltage and a magnitude of a positive peak voltage available across the auxiliary winding less circuit voltage drops contributed by the auxiliary winding and the auxiliary power supply.
4. The switched-power circuit of claim 3, wherein in both the second operating mode of the auxiliary power supply and in the first operating mode, the auxiliary winding is capacitively coupled to the auxiliary power supply, whereby in the second operating mode, the output voltage is substantially equal to half of the peak-to-peak voltage available across the auxiliary winding less circuit voltage drops contributed by the auxiliary winding and the auxiliary power supply.
5. The switched-power circuit of claim 4, wherein in the second operating mode of the auxiliary power supply, an output of the capacitively coupled auxiliary winding is applied to a full-wave bridge rectifier that generates the output voltage.
6. The switched-power circuit of claim 5, wherein the auxiliary power supply comprises a transistor that is activated in the first operating mode of the auxiliary power supply, wherein the transistor shorts a connection from one of the terminals of the auxiliary winding to one of the outputs of the full-wave bridge rectifier, whereby the other output of the full wave bridge rectifier provides a voltage doubler output that generates the output voltage.
7. The switched-power circuit of claim 1, wherein an operating mode of the auxiliary power supply is selected in conformity with a measurement of a magnitude of the voltage available across the auxiliary winding.
8. The switched-power circuit of claim 1, wherein the operating mode of the auxiliary power supply is selected in conformity with an indication received from the control circuit, wherein the indication is an indication of an expected voltage provided by the input voltage source.
9. A method of operating a switched-power circuit, comprising:
switching an input voltage source across a primary winding of a magnetic coupling element to transfer power to an output of the switched-power circuit, wherein the magnetic coupling element has the primary winding and an auxiliary winding;
controlling a period of the switching in conformity with a feedback signal provided from the output of the switched-power circuit; and
selectively generating a voltage from the auxiliary winding of the magnetic coupling element for supplying power to a control circuit that performs the controlling using an auxiliary power supply having a selectable operating mode that is selected responsive to at least one control signal having at least two discrete states for selecting between at least two corresponding operating modes, wherein in a first one of the selectable operating modes, the selectively generating generates an output voltage from the auxiliary winding such that a first non-zero ratio of the output voltage generated from the auxiliary winding to a voltage available from the auxiliary winding is greater than a second non-zero ratio of the output voltage generated from the auxiliary winding to the voltage available from the auxiliary winding in a second one of the selectable operating modes.
10. The method of claim 9, further comprising selecting the state of the control signal in conformity with a magnitude of the output voltage, whereby the auxiliary power supply acts as a hysteretic voltage regulator.
11. The method of claim 9, wherein in the first operating mode the output voltage is substantially equal to the sum of a magnitude of a negative peak voltage and a magnitude of a positive peak voltage available across the auxiliary winding less circuit voltage drops.
12. The method of claim 11, wherein in the first operating mode and the second operating mode of the auxiliary power supply, the auxiliary winding is capacitively coupled to a auxiliary power supply, whereby in the second operating mode, the output voltage is substantially equal to half of the peak-to-peak voltage available across the auxiliary winding.
13. The method of claim 12, further comprising in the second selectable operating mode of the auxiliary power supply, applying the output of the capacitively coupled auxiliary winding to a full-wave bridge rectifier that generates the output voltage.
14. The method of claim 13, further comprising activating a transistor that shorts a connection from one of the terminals of the auxiliary winding to one of the outputs of the full-wave bridge rectifier in response to selection of the first selectable operating mode of the auxiliary power supply, whereby the other output of the full wave bridge rectifier becomes a doubler output that generates the output voltage.
15. The method of claim 9, further comprising measuring a magnitude of the voltage available across the auxiliary winding, and wherein the selectively generating selects an operating mode of the auxiliary power supply in conformity a result of the measuring.
16. The method of claim 9, further comprising receiving an indication of expected voltage magnitude at the input of the switched-power circuit from the control circuit, and wherein the selectively generating selects an operating mode of the auxiliary power supply in conformity with the received indication.
17. An integrated circuit, comprising:
a switching control circuit for controlling a switch for charging an external magnetic coupling element through a primary winding in response to a feedback signal provided to the integrated circuit; and
an auxiliary power supply having a selectable operating mode that is selected responsive to at least one control signal having at least two discrete states for selecting between at least two corresponding operating modes, wherein the auxiliary power supply has an input coupled to an auxiliary power supply input terminal for coupling the integrated circuit to an auxiliary winding of the external magnetic coupling element, wherein the auxiliary power supply generates an output voltage from the auxiliary winding in the at least two corresponding output modes such that a first non-zero ratio of the output voltage generated in a first one of the operating modes from the auxiliary winding to a voltage available from the auxiliary winding is greater than a second non-zero ratio of the output voltage generated in a second one of the operating modes from the auxiliary winding to the voltage available from the auxiliary winding.
18. The integrated circuit of claim 17, wherein a state of the at least one control signal is selected in conformity with a magnitude of the output voltage, whereby the auxiliary power supply acts as a hysteretic voltage regulator.
19. The integrated circuit of claim 17, wherein in the first operating mode the output voltage is substantially equal to the sum of a magnitude of a negative peak voltage and a magnitude of a positive peak voltage available across the auxiliary winding less circuit voltage drops contributed by the auxiliary winding and the auxiliary power supply.
20. The integrated circuit of claim 19, wherein in the second operating mode of the auxiliary power supply and in the first operating mode, the auxiliary winding is capacitively coupled to the auxiliary power supply, whereby in the second operating mode, the output voltage is substantially equal to half of the peak-to-peak voltage available across the auxiliary winding less circuit drops contributed by the auxiliary winding and the auxiliary power supply.
21. The integrated circuit of claim 20, wherein in the second operating mode of the auxiliary power supply, the output of the capacitively coupled auxiliary winding is applied to a full-wave bridge rectifier that generates the output voltage.
22. The integrated circuit of claim 21, wherein the auxiliary power supply comprises a transistor that is activated in the first operating mode of the auxiliary power supply, wherein the transistor shorts a connection from one of the terminals of the auxiliary winding to one of the outputs of the full-wave bridge rectifier, whereby the other output of the full wave bridge rectifier provides a voltage doubler output that generates the output voltage.
Description

The present application is a Continuation-in-Part of U.S. patent application Ser. No. 12/242,298, filed on Sep. 30, 2008 now U.S. Pat. No. 8,008,898, and entitled “SWITCHING REGULATOR WITH BOOSTED AUXILIARY WINDING SUPPLY.” The present application also Claims priority under 35 U.S.C. §119(e) to U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/145,610 filed on Jan. 19, 2009.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

The present invention relates generally to switching power converter circuits, and more specifically, to a switching power converter in which an auxiliary winding power supply includes a selectable mode to stabilize the voltage provided from the auxiliary winding.

2. Background of the Invention

In order to supply power to control circuits of a line-powered switching power converter, a low voltage power supply is needed, typically between 3V and 12V at a few milliamperes of current. However, until the power converter is operating, the only power source typically available is the Alternating Current (AC) power line. The high voltage of the AC power line makes it impractical to use resistors to drop the voltage to the required voltage for the controller, as the power dissipation in the resistor will typically be on the order of several Watts.

Therefore, an auxiliary winding provided on one of the converter magnetics is frequently used to supply power to the converter controller integrated circuit (IC), since a lower voltage can be generated directly through the use of the auxiliary winding, therefore reducing wasted power. However, such an auxiliary power supply still has an output voltage that varies with the magnitude of the rectified AC power line at the input of the switching power converter, which can vary as much as 3:1 for a typical Universal Input power supply, and when start-up and transient hold-over conditions are taken into account, the input voltage variation is even greater. In order to ensure that there is sufficient voltage available to operate the controller IC under all input line conditions, the maximum auxiliary power supply output voltage will typically be at least three times the minimum required output voltage. Therefore, the IC must either be designed to handle the full range of power supply voltages that may be provided from the auxiliary winding or the voltage must be regulated, e.g., with a Zener diode circuit, wasting power, dissipating heat, and typically reducing reliability.

Therefore, it would be desirable to provide an auxiliary power supply circuit and method that provide operating voltage for a controller IC over a wide range of input line conditions, without an output voltage that varies over the full range of auxiliary winding output voltage, or that requires lossy regulation of the auxiliary winding output voltage.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The above stated objective of providing an auxiliary power supply circuit and method that operate over a wide range of input line conditions without requiring that the controller IC supplied by the auxiliary power supply circuit operate over the auxiliary winding variation range, and without requiring lossy voltage drops to lower the voltage provided to the controller IC, is provided in a switching converter and a method of operation of the switching converter.

The switching converter has a magnetic coupling element including at least a primary and at least one auxiliary winding. The auxiliary winding is provided to an auxiliary power supply circuit having a selectable operating mode. In a first operating mode, the auxiliary power supply provides a higher output voltage for the same available auxiliary winding voltage than in the second operating mode. The operating mode may be made by selection of a configurable rectifier circuit, by a selection among multiple auxiliary windings having differing turns ratios, or by another technique that raises the voltage in the first operating mode.

The selection of the auxiliary power supply operating mode may be made in response to measuring the output voltage of the auxiliary power supply, and may be performed dynamically, providing a hysteretic controller that further improves the efficiency of the auxiliary power supply. The selection may alternatively be made by measuring the voltage across the auxiliary winding, or by some other indication of the magnitude of the voltage applied to the input of the switching power converter, which may be a line input or an intermediate node in a cascaded power converter.

The foregoing and other objectives, features, and advantages of the invention will be apparent from the following, more particular, description of the preferred embodiment of the invention, as illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a block diagram depicting a switching converter in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2A is a schematic diagram depicting details of an auxiliary power supply 12A that can be used to implement auxiliary power supply 12 of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 2B is a schematic diagram depicting details of an auxiliary power supply 12B that can be used to implement auxiliary power supply 12 of FIG. 1 in accordance with another embodiment of the present invention.

FIG. 3 is a signal waveform diagram depicting details of operation of the switching converter of FIG. 1 in accordance with an embodiment of the invention.

DESCRIPTION OF ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENT

The present invention encompasses auxiliary power supply circuits and methods for providing power to control and/or other circuits internal to a switching power converter. An auxiliary power supply having a selectable operating mode changes its behavior to compensate for changes in the voltage available from an auxiliary winding provided on a magnetic coupling element of the switching power converter. The selectable operating mode provides for efficient operation over a wider range of variation of a supply voltage at the input of the switching power converter than would be possible without selectable operation. By providing a selectable relationship between the voltage available across the auxiliary winding and the output voltage of the auxiliary power supply, the auxiliary power supply can operate more efficiently under different input voltage conditions. The turns ratio of the auxiliary winding, as well as other circuit parameters can be more readily optimized in a design, given the greater degree of control over the output voltage of the auxiliary power supply afforded by the present invention.

Referring now to FIG. 1, a switching power converter 8, in accordance with an embodiment of the present invention is shown. A switching controller 10 provides a switching control signal CS that controls a switching circuit implemented by a transistor N1. When transistor N1 is active, a magnetic coupling element supplied by inductor L1 is charged by imposing input voltage VIN across inductor L1, causing a current through inductor L1 to linearly increase. When transistor N1 is deactivated, charge is pushed through inductor L1 and diode D1 into capacitor C1, raising the voltage at output terminal OUT. Switching power converter 8 forms a boost converter circuit that can control the voltage provided to output terminal OUT according to a feedback value generated from an output voltage VOUT provided by switching power converter 8 from terminal OUT. Alternatively, current mode feedback may be employed in certain applications. An auxiliary power supply 12 supplies a voltage VAUX to controller 10, and is generally integrated in the same integrated circuit (IC) with controller 10. The inputs of auxiliary power supply 12 are connected to an auxiliary winding aux of inductor L1, and receive a voltage VAW from auxiliary winding aux.

Referring now to FIG. 2A, an auxiliary power supply circuit 12A that may be used to implement auxiliary power supply 12 of FIG. 1 is shown in accordance with an embodiment of the invention. The input of auxiliary power supply 12A is connected to the auxiliary winding of inductor L1, with inductance Lk and resistance RW representing the respective parasitic leakage inductance and wire resistance of the auxiliary winding aux. A capacitor C1 AC-couples auxiliary winding aux to the inputs of auxiliary power supply 12A, so that in a first operating mode, selected by activating transistor N10, diodes D11 and D14 are effectively removed, since diode D14 will remain reverse-biased and diode D11 is shorted. In the first operating mode, auxiliary power supply circuit 12A operates as a voltage doubler circuit. A Zener diode Z1 is provided to ensure that output voltage VAUX does not exceed a maximum level, but Zener diode Z1 is not normally activated in any operating mode of auxiliary power supply circuit 12A, unlike some other auxiliary power supply circuits that regulate using a Zener diode and thereby introduce additional heat and inefficiency in the power converter.

In the first operating mode (e.g., voltage doubler mode) of auxiliary power supply 12A, during a negative phase of voltage VAW across auxiliary winding aux, diode D13 conducts and capacitor C1 charges to the negative peak of the voltage available across auxiliary winding aux, less the voltage drop of diode D13, during this phase, diode D12 is reverse-biased. During the next positive phase of the voltage available across auxiliary winding aux, diode D13 is reverse-biased and diode D12 conducts. The voltage across auxiliary winding aux during the positive phase is added to the voltage that was placed on capacitor C1 during the previous negative phase, resulting in a voltage addition. The voltage doubler circuit implemented by auxiliary power supply 12A in the first operating mode is referred to as a voltage doubler by convention. The convention arises due to the use of such circuits when the positive and negative phase peaks of the AC input are equal. However, in applications such as the boost converter of FIG. 1, the positive and negative phase peaks are not equal, and the inequality presents a problem with respect to auxiliary power supply generation that is solved by the use of the voltage doubler operating mode of auxiliary power supply 12A.

In the boost converter of FIG. 1, voltage VAW across auxiliary winding aux is generated by division of the voltage across inductor L1 multiplied by turns ratio n1/n2, where n1 is the number of turns in the primary winding of inductor L1 and n2 is the number of turns in auxiliary winding aux. During the first switching phase in which inductor L1 is being charged from the input voltage VIN, i.e., the phase in which switching transistor N1 is activated, the open-circuit available voltage across auxiliary winding aux is given by voltage VIN*n1/n2, where input voltage VIN is generally a rectified AC power line source. During the second switching phase when transistor N1 is turned off, the peak voltage available voltage across auxiliary winding aux is given by voltage (VOUT−VIN)*n1/n2. In universal power supply applications, voltage VIN may vary as much as 3:1 as mentioned above. Because the voltage doubler operating mode is in reality a voltage adder, the result of adding the peaks during the negative and positive phases of the switching period yields an auxiliary power supply output voltage of:
V AUX≈(V OUT −V IN)*n1/n2+V IN *n1/n2=V OUT *n1/n2.

The voltage doubler operating mode is a very desirable mode of operation in that output voltage VOUT is generally enforced to be the same value, irrespective of the value of input voltage VIN. Therefore in the first operating mode (doubler operating mode), auxiliary power supply 12A provides a substantially constant output voltage.

In a second mode of operation of auxiliary power supply 12A, transistor N10 is de-activated, and diodes D11-D14 act as a full-wave bridge rectifier that rectifies the AC-coupled voltage VAW available across auxiliary winding aux as coupled through capacitor C1. Since auxiliary winding aux is AC-coupled, the DC potential between the inputs of the bridge rectifier formed by diodes D11-D14 can be non-zero and will assume the difference between the positive and negative peaks of voltage VAW. The resulting DC potential appears across capacitor C1. Therefore, the positive and negative peak voltages provided by the outputs of the bridge rectifier formed by diodes D11-D14, which provides output OUT of auxiliary power supply 12A in the second operating mode is:
V AUX ≈n1/n2(V OUT −V OUT/2)=V OUT/2*n1/n2.

Resulting voltage VAUX in the second operating mode, is exactly one-half of the voltage produced in the first operating mode. Therefore, the ratio of output voltage VAUX to voltage VAW available from auxiliary winding aux is different for each of the operating modes. In the depicted embodiment, since auxiliary power supply 12A employs selectable voltage doubling, the ratios are 2:1 and 1:1, but depending on the particular auxiliary power supply circuit employed to provide differing output voltages VAUX, different ratios, as well as non-integer ratios may be provided in accordance with other embodiments of the present invention. The second operating mode is referred to herein as an averaging operating mode, as the second operating mode provides the above-described voltage averaging action as opposed to the voltage doubling action of the first operating mode.

The two operating modes can be used in conjunction to form a voltage regulator, in which the selectable operating mode is controlled in conformity with a magnitude of auxiliary power supply output voltage VAUX. Auxiliary power supply 12A of FIG. 2A illustrates such a regulator. A hysteresis comparator K1 within control circuit 14A controls the gate of transistor N10 by comparing auxiliary power supply output voltage VAUX with a threshold voltage VTH which can be generally set to any voltage between the auxiliary power supply output voltage VAUX of the first operating mode and the second operating mode. The resulting operation regulates auxiliary power supply output voltage VAUX to a desired level. Referring now to FIG. 3, operation of auxiliary power supply 12A in hysteretic regulation is shown at startup. Signal mode indicates the state of the gate of transistor N10. Between time T0 and time T1, auxiliary power supply 12A remains in the first (doubler) operating mode. Auxiliary power supply output voltage VAUX increases as input voltage Vin increases, and the power converter of FIG. 1 begins operation. At time T1, output voltage VAUX reaches threshold voltage VTH plus the hysteresis of comparator K1, which is maximum voltage Vmax. and the output of hysteresis comparator K1 changes to select the second (averaging) operating mode. Output voltage VAUX decreases until it reaches threshold voltage VTH minus the hysteresis of comparator K1, which is shown as minimum voltage Vmin. When output voltage VAUX reaches minimum voltage Vmin, the output of hysteresis comparator K1 changes to again select the first (doubling) operating mode.

Referring now to FIG. 2B, an auxiliary power supply circuit 12B that may be used to implement auxiliary power supply 12 of FIG. 1 is shown in accordance with another embodiment of the invention. Auxiliary power supply 12B is similar to auxiliary power supply 12A of FIG. 2A, and therefore only differences between them will be described. While the above-described output-feedback hysteretic regulator provides flexible control of the output voltage VAUX of auxiliary power supply 12A, there are other mechanisms by which it may be desirable to control output voltage VAUX. Auxiliary power supply 12B illustrates two such mechanisms as options. In the first, the selectable operating mode of auxiliary power supply 12B is selected in conformity with the magnitude of voltage VAW available across auxiliary winding aux. A detector 16 may be provided to detect voltage VAW across auxiliary winding aux, and the value of VAW may be used to determine whether or not to select doubler mode at the output of control circuit 14B. In another embodiment of the invention, a signal from switching controller 10 provides an indication SELIN of a magnitude of input voltage VIN, which can also be intelligently used to select doubler mode when input voltage VIN is low. Indication SELIN may be generated from a detection of the magnitude of input voltage VIN, as made by switching controller 10 or from other information available to switching controller as to the type and magnitude of the power source supplied to the input of switching power converter 8.

While the invention has been particularly shown and described with reference to the preferred embodiments thereof, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the foregoing and other changes in form, and details may be made therein without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.

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Classifications
U.S. Classification323/222, 363/89, 363/61, 323/282
International ClassificationH02M7/162, G05F1/613
Cooperative ClassificationH02M3/33561, H02M2001/0006, H02M3/155
European ClassificationH02M3/335M, H02M3/155
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